Najmuddin Khan, the Pakistan sports minister, will be meeting Farooq H Naik, the law minister, in a bid to draft a legislation aimed at bringing all the national sports bodies, including the Pakistan Cricket Board, under the supervision of the federal sports ministry.
It was decided at a meeting of the Senate's Committee on Sports that all sports federations should be answerable to the ministry and that could only be done by getting a legislation passed at the National Assembly.
"The sports minister has assured us that he will be meeting the law minister soon in a bid to discuss the proposal of bringing all sports federations under the control of the ministry," Enver Baig, a member of the committee, told the News.
The committee is perturbed by the declining standard of sports in Pakistan and is mainly focusing on the three most popular games in the country - cricket, hockey and squash.
The committee also wants the PCB to come under the control of the sports ministry as its members believe that such a move will bring more accountability in the board.
"A proper check and balance can be kept over PCB and sports federations if they become directly answerable to the sports ministry," Baig said. "We have to take such concrete steps otherwise the future of Pakistan sports will be dark," he added.
Baig pointed out that sports bodies, with the exception of the PCB, lack proper funds. "We are pushing for more funds for sports." He said the committee was critical of the PCB, saying that in spite of having massive funds it has failed to lift Pakistan cricket.
"The PCB has spent Rs 100 crore [US$14 million approx] to uplift Pakistan cricket in recent times and still our team is flopping miserably and is now almost out of the Asia Cup," Baig said, referring to Pakistan's poor performance in the ongoing Asia Cup. At the meeting, the sports minister showed great concern over the decline of Pakistan cricket.
A sub-committee that includes Baig and senator Tariq Azeem was formed during the meeting and was given the task to come out with suggestions for the improvement of Pakistan sports. "We will be giving our recommendations for the promotion of sports in Pakistan," said Baig. "We will apprise the government and the prime minister about the state of our sports."
"That land which should be used by our sports persons is being utilised as a parking space for a residential project. It's a shame," said Baig. The minister was also asked to take another piece of prime land at Karachi's MA Jinnah Road that was handed over to the local government.
"The sports minister has told us that he is new and needs some time. The committee was generous enough to give him two months to complete the tasks and report back to the committee," said Baig.